Rumored Amazon music service could be a grab bag of older tunes

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Amazon’s long-rumored streaming music service may finally be coming together, and it could look similar to Amazon’s video service for Prime subscribers.

In other words, it won’t feature the latest music, instead offering a smattering of older songs—in this case at least six months old—for on-demand listening. Citing five unnamed “music industry sources,” Buzzfeed reports that the service could launch in June or July as part of Amazon’s existing Prime offering.

The report doesn’t mention whether Amazon would place limits on how often users could listen to a particular song or album. A previous report by the Wall Street Journal claimed that Amazon would limit free listening on its streaming service, so as not to discourage MP3 sales.

So far, Amazon reportedly has deals lined up with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and several independent labels. It’s unclear whether Universal Music Group is on board.

If Buzzfeed’s report is correct, Amazon’s service won’t directly compete with subscription services from Spotify, Beats Music, and Rdio, all of which offer enough new and old music to replace a standard MP3 collection. Still, Amazon’s service could have more appeal than Internet radio apps such as Pandora and iTunes Radio that don’t let you pick the exact songs you want to hear.

And for Amazon Prime subscribers, it could be just another “nice to have” feature, alongside Amazon’s existing selection of free streaming videos and free ebooks for Kindle device owners. It might also help explain why Amazon recently raised the price of a Prime subscriptions from $79 per year to $99 per year, though the company has said that increased shipping costs were largely to blame for the price hike.

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